Newark community café receives welcome support from East Midlands Railway

Carriages community café at Newark Castle station has received support from East Midlands Railway.

In this time of hardship for many people, caused by the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, train operator East Midlands Railways (EMR) has donated crucial funds and food to a community café in Newark that which is helping vulnerable people to cope.

Some of the donated supplies from EMR and Rail Gourmet.

Carriages Community Café at Newark Castle station has received £2,500 and more than 50 meals, including food from EMR supplier Rail Gourmet, to support its efforts. The money will be used to buy a much-needed new oven that will allow the café to produce more than 200 meals each week.

Carriages, which has operated a community café at Newark Castle station for nearly three years, provides a three-course meal for £3 after the regular cafe closed at 17:30, every other week.

It has also operated a successful “pay it forward” scheme, allowing people to pay for a meal for a needy person who could otherwise go hungry.

The community café’s owner, Wendy Baird, has decided to run the cafe as a takeaway every Wednesday, so as to support the vulnerable during these difficult times. She provides “a meal in a bag”, including a cooked meal, a pudding and other food that can be used at home, to be collected and taken home to eat for those that can, or delivered by the fire service to those who are self-isolating.

Wendy Baird, Carriages.

Thanking EMR for its donation, Wendy Baird said: “Without donations such as this, we simply could not afford to keep this project going and help support some of the most vulnerable people in this area.

“More people than ever need this service and we really appreciate any donation to ensure that we can carry on for as long as possible. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

“Caring communities are strong communities.”

Kirsty Derry, East Midlands Railway.

EMR HR director Kirsty Derry responded: “In these uncertain times, projects such as the one run by Wendy are becoming increasingly important to the communities we serve.

“We are proud to support her work and hope that our donation can make an important impact in helping those people who might be struggling in these difficult times.”

Readers who would like to help Carriages should visit its Just Giving page.

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